eBay can't compare. I participated in a garage sale yesterday with my roommate and downstairs neighbor, Jeff. Jeff is a serial garage seller. This was my first (not counting my garage-sale-like office moving sale a while back). In the past, if I wanted to get rid of some books or clothes or furniture (and I lived in the city), I'd just set them on the sidewalk and let whoever walked and found them useful have them. (In the Lower Haight, this generally took about 30 seconds. In Noe Valley, it can take a couple hours or more.) If I had a bunch of stuff at once (and transportation) perhaps I'd haul it down to the Salvation Army. But I just couldn't see how the few bucks one might scrounge trying to sell such stuff could possibly be worth the time spent sitting out on the street for a Saturday morning/afternoon (unless, of course, your prospects are particularly dire—and I've certainly been there).

But yesterday, I learned that Jeff had the inside track all along. You see, it's not about the money. It's all about meeting your neighbors—not to mention, cute girls, and interesting people. Met some of all of the above yesterday, while having a good time and (gasp) actually getting some sun.

One of the interesting people I met was Sam, an older gentleman in an electric wheelchair. An ex-Marine and doctor, Sam is heading to Isreal in two weeks as part of a Doctors Without Borders group. These folks pay their own way and risk their lives, going into the heart of war-torn and epidemic-ridden countries to treat people who can't get medical treatment any other way. He thought my old Palm Pro might be useful out there in the combat zone. I didn't feel bad selling it to him for half the price I could have gotten on eBay. (That was before he told me all of the above—if it was after, I'd have given it to him. Speaking of, he says they're in dire need of defibrillators and Winnebagos, so if you're looking to get rid of any, give them a call.)

I ended up taking home more stuff from the sale than I got rid of—so when the novelty of this Pat Benatar record (which one of the cute girls left with us to sell for her) wears off, I'm sure I'll have something to haul out to the sidewalk next time.